Red Lobster Locations in Tampa Close Abruptly


Tampa Bay seafood enthusiasts were left reeling on Monday as news broke of multiple Red Lobster closures across the country, including several in the Tampa area. The sudden closures have left employees and patrons alike stunned, raising questions about the future of the iconic seafood chain.

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Founded in 1968 in Lakeland, Red Lobster has long been a staple of the American dining scene. However, bankruptcy rumors have been swirling around the Florida-based restaurant for weeks, with reports indicating a search for a buyer to avoid Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

While Red Lobster has yet to publicly acknowledge the closures, more than 80 locations in at least 27 states have been listed as “temporarily closed” on the restaurant’s website, including several in the Tampa Bay area.

The closures come amidst a series of challenges for Red Lobster, including turnover in key leadership positions and financial losses. Last summer, the revival of the endless shrimp menu deal reportedly resulted in an $11 million loss for the chain.

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Additionally, Red Lobster’s top supplier, Thai Union, recently cut ties with the seafood restaurant, adding to the company’s woes.

The closures add to Red Lobster’s challenges, including leadership turnover and relocation to Orlando in 2015. Key executives have left within two years.

Similar trends are seen in the restaurant industry, as Tampa’s Outback Steakhouse closes many U.S. locations, including one in Sarasota.

The closures of beloved Red Lobster locations in Tampa Bay highlight the restaurant industry’s ongoing challenges.